Tuesday, November 24, 2015


On 11/16/15 we reach a mile stone. We hit the 290 Co-sponsors mark. What this means is that if the Bill is taken to the Floor for a vote, there would be no debating since there is a Super Majority supporting the bill.
 As of now we are are 291 cosponsors in the House and 34 in the Senate.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


The regulations that the VA needs to write regarding Blue Water Navy veterans due to the Gray v. McDonald have been or soon will be delivered to the White House for approval. We don’t know what it says, but we do know the VA is always inclined to inflate cost figures. What we need to do is send hundreds of letters to the White House asking that they move forward with the VA regulations. I believe that after they get White House approval, VA may bring John Wells back into the picture to review things before they release the new Regulations.
Please go to the link below and send a note to the White House so they know there are people out here in the real world who care about this issue! Send it directly to the President. An example of what you might say is included. Use as is or modify as you see fit.
"I have heard that the VA is working on a regulation to help Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans who have diseases caused by Agent Orange. Please support these new VA regulations. Blue Water Navy vets lost their presumption of exposure to Agent Orange in 2002 after it was granted to them by the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Tens of thousands of veterans deserve their earned benefits. It shouldn’t matter what the cost is; these are American lives we are talking about! Please ask the VA to restore these benefits."
Beside using the Contact Form I am also suggesting that we light up the White House Switch board on Monday morning. PLEASE call 202-456-1111 and ask them to support the New Regulations and remind them that the VA has a history of not exactly telling the truth at all times.
One more thing……PLEASE PLEASE SHARE SHARE this on ANY FB or Yahoo group you belong to. Let’s get as many people as we can to do this.
I know some have already started to post this or a similar request on others sites, please post again if you have to. We ALL need to get our point across.
Please make sure you make that call on Monday and SHARE….tell your family, friends, coworkers, enemies, people you barely know, any one and ask them to Contact the White House.
Thanks…remember SHARE

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Agent Orange Act Extension Stalls

Agent Orange Act Extension Stalls
The 1991 Agent Orange Act expires on September 30, 2015; new legislation would extend its sunset to September 30, 2017, but it is stalled on the House floor. If the AOA expires, thousands of veterans who were exposed to the chemical will be denied their right to compensation. Please use the FRA Action Center (www.fra.org/action-center) or call the Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Ralph Abraham (La.) at his Capitol Hill office (202-225-8490) to explain that the AOA expires September 30, 2015 and ask that the bill be approved immediately.

Blue Water Veterans – Should I file a VA Claim

Blue Water Veterans – Should I file a VA Claim?

When you had that heart attack unexpectedly a few years ago, you were shocked to discover that you had ischemic heart disease. Heart disease did not run in your family, so where did it come from?
While in the waiting room at the VA medical center for your monthly checkup, you start talking to another patient who, as it turns out, served in the Navy during the Vietnam era – same as you. He tells you that he has a claim pending at the VA for Diabetes Mellitus, but they keeping turning him down. Why? You ask. He gives a rather confusing explanation about being a Blue Water vet, and how the VA will not grant service-connection for Blue Water veterans. “It’s a tough fight”, the fellow patient mutters darkly. “I keep wanting to quit, but my wife won’t let me.”
Back at home, you do some research online about ischemic heart disease. You discover that Agent Orange has been known to cause ischemic heart disease—so that’s where it came from! In fact, it’s on the VA’s list of conditions that are presumed to be caused by exposure to herbicides. But, like the Navy vet at the VA clinic said, the VA will only grant this kind of service connection to Navy veterans if you were “boots on the ground” in Vietnam. And you never went ashore while you were deployed to Vietnam. The question that you ask yourself is:  is it worth it to file a claim?
The answer is: absolutely yes!
For a Blue Water veteran, hope of obtaining service connection is not futile. Thanks to a recent case (Gray v. McDonald) that was won at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the VA is now under a lot of pressure to revisit the Agent Orange Act of 1991 in an effort to include Blue Water Navy veterans in the group eligible for VA benefits.
The Agent Orange Act established that certain conditions would be considered as being caused by exposure to herbicide agents, including Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, soft-tissue sarcoma, and chloracne. The Act defined the affected group of veterans as any “veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.” The Agent Orange Act also required the Secretary of the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review and evaluate the available scientific evidence regarding associations between diseases and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides. In other words, the IOM would determine if there were any other conditions that were likely caused by exposure to herbicides. If the IOM and the Secretary jointly agreed that these other conditions would be related to exposure to herbicides, these conditions would be added to the presumption list.
Later, the VA informally redefined the eligibility requirements for Navy veterans when the VA’s internal adjudication manual (M21-1) advised that “service in Vietnam will be conceded if the records show that the veteran received the Vietnam Service Medal.” Because the Vietnam Service Medal was typically awarded to veterans who served aboard a ship in the waters offshore Vietnam, regardless of whether they set foot on Vietnamese soil, this Manual M21-1 provision appeared to eliminate any need for these veterans to prove that they set foot on land in Vietnam. Of course, the VA being what it is, this practice was not exercised consistently. In some cases, the VA would grant the case; in other cases, the VA would deny the case based on the fact that the veteran never set foot on land in Vietnam and was therefore not entitled to the presumption. To make matters worse, the subsequent Haas v. Peake case ruled that veterans must have been present within the land borders of the Republic of Vietnam in order to qualify for the Agent Orange presumption. This meant that veterans who served on ships that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam were eligible, but the veterans who served on ships in the wider bays or on deep-sea vessels were not.
The Gray case finally challenged the VA’s capricious and arbitrary determination on what was considered an “inland waterway”. In the months to follow, the Secretary must revisit the regulations to determine a more reasonable and consistent way of “drawing the line” for Blue Water veterans.
What does this mean for Blue Water veterans now?
With the ever-growing pressure on the VA, we are hopeful that the Secretary’s revisitation of the regulations, coupled with the new bill that is being pushed in Congress, the H.R. 969, will result in a favorable outcome for Blue Water veterans. Therefore, it is important for veterans to continue to fight for the benefits that they so richly deserve.
So for the Blue Water veteran who wants to know if he/she should file a claim: file that claim! Change is in the wind, whether the VA is ready for it or not!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Watch this Video

A must watch: http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2015/September/20/UC_VietVets-20Sep15.htm

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Update on The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act September 13, 2015

Here is an update on the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

This week we have had 5 more Representatives signed onto the Bill making the total 269.  We need to get that number up to over 289 so that certain rules will be suspended.
We also had 1 more Senator signed up making the total for the Senate to be 21.

John Wells is making another trip to Washington DC this coming week. On Blue Water Navy Awareness we have posted a list of some of the Members of Congress Offices he will be visiting along with the Contact Information for that office. We are trying to get as many people as we can to write these Congress Members and asked them to support the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Please visit us for the list and please join us in writing these Members of Congress.

Also we do have Contact Information for all Members of Congress. This is so we all can all keep contacting Member of Congress to let them know we are not going away. We are here to stay.

There was a Webinar this week put on by two of the best that are fighting for us to get the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act passed.  Besides giving out the back ground information they suggested ways for us to help. Keep Contacting Congress was one of the ways along with getting the word out to the News Media. We need to let everyone know what Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans are going through. How the VA is putting us off and ignoring us.  One other idea was to keep contacting the VA, if you know the e-mail address of Robert MacDonald and Sloan Gibbson please send them my way. I have tried Robert.McDonald@va.gov and Sloan.Gibson@va.gov and I did not get a Bounce back so they may be valid. Yes I know they won’t actually get the e-mails BUT if they keep getting them I am sure that the person who is reading them will let them know we are out here.

Not only do we need to make the request for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, we need to ask them to support the Extension of Agent Orange Act (HR 3423). This will extent by two years the original sunset deadline of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to ensure that Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange receive just compensation and care.
The Act expires on September 30, 2015 and the legislation would extend the sunset to September 30, 2017. FRA warned the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees regarding the sunset of the Act during its March 18, 2015 testimony.
The Agent Orange Act of 1991 (AOA) established a presumption of service connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, relieving Vietnam veterans from the burden of providing evidence that their illness was a result of military service. This law directs the the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to periodically research and review diseases that might be associated with Agent Orange exposure. The VA is required to add diseases the NAS finds to have a positive association to Agent Orange exposure to the VA’s list of presumptive service connected diseases. Since the enactment of the AOA, the NAS has issued reports that have led to the presumption of service connection for diseases such as Parkinson’s, B-cell leukemia and early onset peripheral neuropathy. Without these studies, thousands of Vietnam era veterans would have gone without the benefits they greatly deserve.
If the AOA expires the VA would no longer be obligated to review the NAS report or add any new diseases to the presumption of service list, in the process denying thousands of veterans their right to compensation.
Members are urged to use the Action Center to ask their Representative to support this important legislation.

For up to date information you can always check with Blue Water Navy Awareness on Facebook.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015


I haven’t posted about the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act in about a month due to the fact that nothing has happen since Congress is in recess.
There is going to be a Webinar this coming week you may find interesting. Here is the information on it:
Agent Orange and Blue Water Sailors: VA has yet to publish its official definition of inland waterway. However, the BVA’s decision indicates that VA still refuses to accept Vietnam harbors as inland waterways, ignoring a Veterans Court order to the contrary. 

In this webinar, Matthew Hill and Commander John Wells, Esq., the Executive Director, Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc., will cover what has and hasn’t changed in the Brown Water/Blue Water Debate. 

Questions/points we will address: 

1. Why you still need to pay attention even if your ship was in a harbor or bay. 
2. What to take away from the Gray decision. 
3. What evidence to use for your case. 
4. Actions to be taken politically.
You can go to the following URL to sign up for it. Sign up even if you can’t attend it but want to see it later, they said they will e-mail you where you can see it:


Also there have been some new ships added to the Official Agent Orange Ships List. Go to http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp to see if your ship has been added.
As always please contact your member of Congress and ask them to support the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, S-681 (Senate) and H-969 (House.) Also you ask them to support the Agent Orange Extension Act (HR-3423). This act will allow the VA to still add more disease to the Agent Orange list. I believe it allows other things also.

For more information up to date information you can always go to Blue Water Navy Awareness on Facebook.

Thanks and Enjoy

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Received VA Lett er.

I received this letter from the VA today. Now it is great that the VA did send me a letter but what worries me is that a Veterans Service Center Manager doesn't even know who their bosses are.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blue Water Navy Poll

I need to ask a favor of all Veterans of all branches.  I have set up a Poll that is intended to get the opinion of Veterans that are getting VA Disability Compensation and those who may be awarded benefits in the future. So please answer the first question as if you were getting VA Disability Compensation.
The results of the poll may be submitted to members of Congress to help gain there support of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.
At this time the results are coming to me. At the time it is decided to submit the polls, I am going to try to do so without providing it with the e-mail addresses.  During the poll I need a way to verify that only one response per person is submitted resulting in a valid and fair poll.
To be most effective we need to have as many Veterans as possible to take the poll. So PLEASE share the link with other groups.
Also you will notice that I am saying “Veterans” and not “Blue Water Navy Veterans” or “Navy Veterans”. For this poll to be most effective, it would help if we get all type of Veterans to take the poll.
At some time in the future (not decided yet) I will publish the results.

So PLEASE take the poll and PLEASE share it on other sites you are on.

Please go to http://goo.gl/forms/81CL3XYVqb  and complete the poll

Thank You

Mike Yates

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Letter Request

Mike Little of the AUSN is asking for letters from Blue Water Navy Veterans and/or their to use as leverage for Co-sponsor. The letter/e-mail needs to to be personal and personalized so the the staffers can understand what you are going through. They can’t be Form Type Letters. They need to know that there are real people facing issues with Agent Orange and that they served on Naval Ships. If you are willing to do this please send them to LegislativeCorps@ausn.org and do it as soon as possible.

List of Congressman NOT Supporting The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act

DateSend Mail
not a cosponsorMartha Roby (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobert Aderholt (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGary Palmer (R 6th)---Send Message
American Samoa
not a cosponsorAumua Amata Radewagen (R At-Large)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPaul Gosar (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMatt Salmon (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDavid Schweikert (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRuben Gallego (D 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTrent Franks (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSteve Womack (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDoug LaMalfa (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJared Huffman (D 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Garamendi (D 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTom McClintock (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJerry McNerney (D 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorNancy Pelosi (D 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJackie Speier (D 14th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorEric Swalwell (D 15th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJim Costa (D 16th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKevin McCarthy (R 23rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorLois Capps (D 24th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPete Aguilar (D 31st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorXavier Becerra (D 34th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorNorma Torres (D 35th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRaul Ruiz (D 36th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKaren Bass (D 37th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorEd Royce (R 39th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDana Rohrabacher (R 48th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDarrell Issa (R 49th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDuncan Hunter (R 50th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKen Buck (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDoug Lamborn (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMike Coffman (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJeff Miller (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAnder Crenshaw (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRon DeSantis (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Mica (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAlan Grayson (D 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGus Bilirakis (R 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKathy Castor (D 14th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorVern Buchanan (R 16th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMario Diaz-Balart (R 25th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTom Price (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRob Woodall (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJody Hice (R 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRick Allen (R 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTom Graves (R 14th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRaul Labrador (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobin Kelly (D 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDaniel Lipinski (D 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorLuis Gutierrez (D 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPeter Roskam (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDanny Davis (D 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobert Dold (R 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMike Bost (R 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Shimkus (R 15th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAdam Kinzinger (R 16th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPeter Visclosky (D 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJackie Walorski (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMarlin Stutzman (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTodd Rokita (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSusan Brooks (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorLarry Bucshon (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRod Blum (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTim Huelskamp (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorLynn Jenkins (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMike Pompeo (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorEdward Whitfield (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSteve Scalise (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorCedric Richmond (D 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Fleming (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRalph Abraham (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGarret Graves (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBruce Poliquin (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAndy Harris (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSteny Hoyer (D 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorElijah Cummings (D 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSeth Moulton (D 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBill Huizenga (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJustin Amash (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Moolenaar (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTim Walberg (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSander Levin (D 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorCandice Miller (R 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDave Trott (R 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Kline (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorErik Paulsen (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTom Emmer (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTrent Kelly (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorWilliam Lacy Clay (D 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAnn Wagner (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBlaine Luetkemeyer (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBilly Long (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRyan Zinke (R At-Large)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAdrian Smith (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDina Titus (D 1st)---Send Message
New Jersey
not a cosponsorDonald Norcross (D 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorScott Garrett (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorFrank Pallone (D 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBill Pascrell (D 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDonald Payne (D 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRodney Frelinghuysen (R 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBonnie Watson Coleman (D 12th)---Send Message
New Mexico
not a cosponsorSteve Pearce (R 2nd)---Send Message
New York
not a cosponsorJerrold Nadler (D 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDan Donovan (R 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorCarolyn Maloney (D 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorChris Collins (R 27th)---Send Message
North Carolina
not a cosponsorRenee Ellmers (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDavid Price (D 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorVirginia Foxx (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMark Walker (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDavid Rouzer (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRichard Hudson (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobert Pittenger (R 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPatrick McHenry (R 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMark Meadows (R 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAlma Adams (D 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGeorge Holding (R 13th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSteve Chabot (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBrad Wenstrup (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJim Jordan (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBill Johnson (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Boehner (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMichael Turner (R 10th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMarcia Fudge (D 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPat Tiberi (R 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSteve Russell (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGreg Walden (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorChaka Fattah (D 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMike Kelly (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorScott Perry (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBill Shuster (R 9th)---Send Message
Puerto Rico
not a cosponsorPedro Pierluisi (D At-Large)---Send Message
Rhode Island
not a cosponsorJim Langevin (D 2nd)---Send Message
South Carolina
not a cosponsorMark Sanford (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJoe Wilson (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTrey Gowdy (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMick Mulvaney (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJames Clyburn (D 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorTom Rice (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Duncan (R 2nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorChuck Fleischmann (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorScott DesJarlais (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJim Cooper (D 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDiane Black (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorStephen Fincher (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSam Johnson (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Ratcliffe (R 4th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJeb Hensarling (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJoe Barton (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJohn Culberson (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKevin Brady (R 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorAl Green (D 9th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorK. Michael Conaway (R 11th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKay Granger (R 12th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMac Thornberry (R 13th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRandy Weber (R 14th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorBill Flores (R 17th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJoaquin Castro (D 20th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorWill Hurd (R 23rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorKenny Marchant (R 24th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMichael Burgess (R 26th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorHenry Cuellar (D 28th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGene Green (D 29th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorEddie Bernice Johnson (D 30th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPete Sessions (R 32nd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorFilemon Vela (D 34th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorLloyd Doggett (D 35th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJason Chaffetz (R 3rd)---Send Message
not a cosponsorMia Love (R 4th)---Send Message
Virgin Islands
not a cosponsorStacey Plaskett (D At-Large)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobert Hurt (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorRobert Goodlatte (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDave Brat (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorDon Beyer (D 8th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorPaul Ryan (R 1st)---Send Message
not a cosponsorJim Sensenbrenner (R 5th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorGlenn Grothman (R 6th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorSean Duffy (R 7th)---Send Message
not a cosponsorCynthia Lummis (R At-Large)---Send Message